Oklahoma City Among The Winners From The NBA Draft
Many saw this season's NBA draft as one that lacked star power.
Not enough big names to get excited about.
Regardless, there were a few teams that embraced the moment and found themselves atop my list as draft winners:
Oklahoma City Thunder
Arizona State's James Harden may prove to be one of the best players from the draft over the next few years. Unlike many others on the board, he plays the game with great maturity which will translate immediately to the league.
At the 24th overall pick, the Thunder then landed center B.J. Mullens from Ohio State. Much more question marks will surround the young center, but it is hard to argue the value they got for him at 24th overall.
Oklahoma City came into the draft needing to address two needs: shooting guard and center. They did just that and now look to have one of the more exciting teams in the NBA for future seasons.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs continue to show the league the reasons why they have been so dominant for such an extended period of time.
The fact that DeJuan Blair fell that late in the draft makes the Spurs a winner for selecting him. Right now there will be questions as to how serious Blair's knee injuries may be since so many teams passed on him.
But you have to believe San Antonio has enough answers for making this selection.
At 51st they also added Jack McClinton out of Miami. A great shooter, McClinton should develop into a great perimeter threat off of the bench for Popovich's squad.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers came away from the draft with depth in the back court in Jeff Pendergraph and Dante Cunningham. Both players leave college with a long resume of great work.
Cunningham and Pendegraph are disciplined players that could earn quality playing time for their rebounding and toughness.
With the 55th Portland selected point guard Patrick Mills out of St. Mary's. A great sleeper pick, especially for the spot he was selected at. Mills is a great scorer who has experience playing at the professional level with the Australian basketball team.
A few other teams of note that did well when they were on the clock are: New Jersey Nets and the Golden State Warriors
With every group of winners, there will always be the losers, the teams that failed to take advantage of their opportunities.
With four picks in the first round, you would that that Minnesota would pick a position other then guard with one of them. That was not the case on Thursday when they chose Flynn, Rubio, Lawson (traded to Denver) and Ellington.
It would be difficult to see both Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio in the backcourt at the same time considering both are points and both will demand control of the offense.
Minnesota has little depth any where on the roster, so many would have assumed they would draft a big man with either the fifth or sixth pick.
Wayne Ellington should bring great scoring to a team that traded away much of its depth at guard this off season.
Austin Daye is a quality basketball player with a lot of upside, but he does not possess the toughness to play with the Pistons.
Daye will bring scoring to go along with that 6'10" frame but being under 200 pounds will severely limit what he will be able to do inside.
Another negative to Daye is his age. He is a young player who will need some time to develop, and hopefully fill out if he is going to make any noise in the league.
It is hard not to like the passion and hard work that Tyler Hansbrough brings to the floor every night. Unfortunately that does not mean you will dominate in the NBA.
The Pacers made quite the reach with the 13th pick by selecting him. Tyler will have an impact on that team, there is no doubt about it. But he does not fit the value at 13th spot. Many see him as a great reserve with high energy, and nothing more.
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